Writing Grant Requests

Here is a brief recap of the essential elements of writing grant requests:

  1. Summary or abstract – Write this part last. Establish your credibility, state your goal, sample activities, and cost.
    The summary should be brief, clear, and informative and of very high quality. STAY FOCUSED!
  2. Introduction – This section highlights your credibility and your school’s credibility. Give some background without being philosophical.
  3. Provide Data – Include data on the demographics of the population/community to be served and any significant info that will show the funder that you can carry out the grant work proposed.
  4. Needs Assessment – Address the problem(s) you wish to correct. This should be related to your goals/objectives. Support this information with evidence/data.
    Do some RESEARCH. State the needs in terms of students, not the problems.
  5. Objectives – Objectives are “outcomes” that define your activities. Tell who, what, when, and how.
    Make sure that you can assess the objectives.
  6. Activities – Include justification and make sure that they are clear to any audience.
    Accompany these with a rationale of why these activities will help you accomplish your goals.
  7. Evaluation – There are two types of evaluation – the product evaluation that evaluates your program’s results, and the process evaluation that evaluates the way the program was conducted.
    Evaluation of a grant is the second most important part, next to the needs assessment. It is a wonderful opportunity to BE CREATIVE.
  8. Future Funding – How can the program be sustained? Are you planning other fund raising efforts? Will your district assume responsible if the program is successful?
    The more specific you can be in your proposal regarding future funding, the more confidence it will create in the funding source.
  9. Budget – This is an ESTIMATE of the cost of the program. Funders will usually provide you with a degree of latitude in the actual spending as long as you do not exceed the total amount of the grant.
    DO NOT list vague categories like “miscellaneous” without an explanation. Make sure to include in-kind contributions, shared expenses, other funding, etc.
    This looks great on a proposal even though it is not always required.

Focus your energy first on the needs assessment and evaluation sections. Then pay serious attention to the section on future funding. Be sure to be as specific as possible with your budget numbers.

Good luck with your grant funding!